Continuing its commitment to educating and training skilled healthcare workers to meet rising demand for quality clinical services in Northeast Florida and beyond, Jacksonville University (JU) announced the expansion of its relationship with longstanding partner Brooks Rehabilitation. A $1.5 million commitment from Brooks Rehabilitation will support the creation of a new Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program in the Jacksonville University Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences School of Applied Health Sciences and will create the Brooks Rehabilitation Nursing Excellence Scholarship program within the Keigwin School of Nursing.
“Jacksonville University and Brooks Rehabilitation share a deep commitment to developing engaged, passionate students into highly qualified, contributing healthcare professionals in the applied health sciences and healthcare fields,” said President Tim Cost of Jacksonville University. “As our University continues to analyze, anticipate and respond to market needs, we’re thrilled to expand our successful Jacksonville University and Brooks Rehabilitation partnership that consistently produces sought-after graduates in nursing, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, health informatics, kinesiology, clinical mental health counseling and orthodontics.”
“As the largest employer of therapists in the region, we know that graduates of the Jacksonville University Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences are well-prepared for the demands of today’s healthcare industry,” said Doug Baer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brooks Rehabilitation. “We are proud to invest in the new Jacksonville University DPT program and the successful Keigwin School of Nursing programs to promote the continued evolution of healthcare education and support the future of high-quality, innovative healthcare services available to North Florida residents.”
Demand for physical therapists is expected to grow 18 percent over the next decade and all physical therapists are required to earn a DPT in order to practice. Designed to help meet the growing demand, the new Jacksonville University/Brooks Rehabilitation DPT program will be one of the most innovative in the country thanks to the strong collaboration between Jacksonville University and the Brooks Rehabilitation Institute of Higher Learning. In this model, both organizations will be fully invested and engaged throughout the student education and training cycle. In addition, the two-year, full-time program will be an accelerated course of study compared to traditional three-year DPT programs. The program is expected to be granted candidacy for accreditation in 2025 and looks forward to welcoming its first cohort in 2026.
The highly respected and competitive Jacksonville University Keigwin School of Nursing programs have grown exponentially, accelerated by a recent expansion of a 12-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program and a nurse practitioners scholarship fund through the JU Upskill Institute to help meet the shortage of primary care providers in the State of Florida. Building on that momentum, the new Brooks Rehabilitation Nursing Excellence Scholarship program is designed to attract the highest-performing students to Jacksonville University. The scholarships will benefit the innovative 12-month ABSN program, the 16-month Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, and senior students enrolled in the traditional BSN pre-licensure programs. These scholarships will serve as a direct pipeline for Jacksonville University graduates into the Brooks Rehabilitation health system, providing guaranteed employment to scholarship recipients. These graduates will help to elevate their profession and provide an opportunity for Jacksonville University nurses to become a part of a care team committed to excellence at one of Brooks’ two world-class rehabilitation hospitals in Jacksonville, Fla.